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LaPlace drug dealer sentenced to life in jail; another gets 10 years

NEW ORLEANS — One LaPlace man was sentenced to life in prison while another local resident was given 10 years behind bars following their convictions in a federally prosecuted heroin and cocaine dealing case.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon handed down the sentences last week for 44-year-old Andre Staggers, known as Dre, and 43-year-old Gregory London, known as Lil Gregg.

The duo, each from LaPlace, were sentenced Nov. 14, which followed their August conviction after a five-day trial, according to U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser.

Staggers was convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and five hundred grams or more of cocaine, along with firearms charges.

Lemmon sentenced Staggers to life imprisonment plus five years — the additional sentence mandatory for having been convicted of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

London was convicted of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and use of a communications facility in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Lemmon sentenced him to a decade in prison and eight years of supervised release.

According to evidence presented at trial, Strasser said Drug Enforcement Administration agents conducted an investigation from January 2015 through February 2016 concerning distribution of cocaine and heroin in St. Charles and St. John the Baptist parishes.

The federal investigation, which was conducted in coordination with state and local law enforcement, resulted in the seizure of nearly a kilogram of heroin along with scales, money counters, firearms and more than $410,000 in cash.

The sentencing of two other defendants who were convicted at trial, Corey Session, 44, of St. Rose, and Leonard Morrison, known as “Leonard London,” 36, also of St. Rose, is scheduled later this month before Judge Lemmon.

Strasser said the conviction is the result of a coordinated effort of authorities within the DEA’s Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, which includes the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew R. Payne, Brittany L. Reed and David Howard Sinkman handled the prosecution and trial.

Also assisting in the prosecution was Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Andre Gaudin, who is assigned from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Police said Staggers and London were part of a group linked to major local drug trafficking.

Authorities said search warrants executed Feb. 25, 2016, at two residences used by Session resulted in the seizure of two AK-style rifles, approximately $10,000 in cash and a half kilogram of cocaine.

A search warrant executed the same day at Staggers’ residence resulted in the seizure of an AR-15 rifle, a half-kilogram of heroin and more than $400,000 in cash.

St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said his deputies assisted for months with the investigation, adding the discovery of assault weapons in the suspects’ possession indicates a willingness by the group to operate violently.

He cited the teamwork of Louisiana and federal officers as a major reason these cases were made.